By: Carol Weis
Illustrated by: Ard Hoyt
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 2006
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: May 2009
Quick! Do something! The cows have gotten loose and we need to catch them! So begins Carol Weis’ delightful story When The Cows Got Loose.
It was a typical day down at the zoo (or is it a farm?) when the cows escaped. Granny was soaking in the tub, Grampy was knitting a scarf, Ma was chopping wood and Pa was fixing a hole in the chicken coop. Ida Mae was the busiest of all that day – she was hanging upside down from a tree daydreaming. When her father decides Ida Mae should capture the rogue cows, the young girl gathers up her dog Calliope, hops aboard her trusty zebra, and begins her search.
Ida Mae finds her 26 missing cows in the strangest, and funniest, of places. One cow has taken a neighbor’s chairs, pilled them high, and climbed to the top. Several other bovines are discovered playing inside a car, high atop a tree, while still others are tiptoeing across a clothesline, dressed in the clean sheets that had hung on the clothesline just moments before.
Children will giggle in glee and laugh out loud at the cows’ antics. The expressions on the cows’ faces are priceless as are their silly escapades. The story is told from Ida Mae’s point of view and the author cleverly uses down home lingo – “The day the cows got loose, I was hanging upside down in the ol’ apple tree, dreamin’ about how to git famous someday” – that opens up all sorts of opportunities for the reader to improvise and use all sorts of funny and entertaining voices.
Quill says: The day the Cows Got Loose led to one hysterical and not-to-be-missed adventure that children will love to go on again and again.